Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Wave and Fly Fishing

Its  hot out there. Hotter than the average temperature of the human body. In the winter they warn  you about hypothermia (below temperature) in which the body temperature drops below 98.6 and bad things happen.  However in the summer they warn of overheating and heat exhaustion. Why not reverse the winter term and warn us about hyperthermia?

Anyway, when its this warm, the water gets warm too. Water takes a bit longer to change temperatures based on its characteristic of temperature moderation. Throw in the lack of rainfall and the local waters are heating up. Additionally, warm water holds less oxygen. Don't forget that fish are the same temperature as the water they are in, they are exothermic organisms. So fish that are 80+ degrees are going to be lethargic and won't have enough oxygen to move around-like us at high altitude. They can't sweat as we do to maintain our homeostasis (same body temperature) so the are left to their instinct and creativity. Fish will find deeper water this time of year as cooler water is more dense and will settle/sink. They will find shade where less thermal activity is warming the water molecules, speeding them up, and causing heat. They will find sources of cold water from springs. And as humans do, they are more active this time of  year when the sun drops and things cool off. Think about all of those crazies out at night in the city.

So what do  you do to catch more fish this time of year? You fish deep, you fish slow,  you fish the shade, and  you fish after dusk or early morning. Simple right? Well not so much if you are a fishing guide and  you rely on your client's schedules to fish. Most of what we are doing now is during the heat of the day. Fishing will be good in the morning, taper off in the mid hours, and then pick up again in the evening. So basically if there is traffic on the roads, you should be fishing. Think of it this way, if 495 is congested near Tysons Corner, get out and wet a line. That only applies to local folk. When I'm stuck on that nasty snarl of traffic as of late I like to roll down my window and smell the restaurants at Tysons as they pump grill flavors into the air, nom nom nom.

Our luck thus far since the past blog post has been a combination of  my standard set up for this time of year, a foam bug of some sort with about 18" of mono hanging off the back with a bead head nymph dropper. I'll fish some generic patterns that I come up with (silver bead head, calf tail for tail, sparkly body dub, flash back, partridge soft hackle) and some standards like copper johns, holy grails, pheasant tails, hares ears, and princes.

Some green herons working the shoreline

 Jim and his fly fishing experiment success
 First fish on a fly
 More green herons
 Proof of trout in Reston's lake Audubon
 Smallest fish of the day
 There were 4 baby ducks to this momma duck, now there is only 1. Where did the others go? Snakes? Snapping turtles? Bass ?
 Todd with his first Potomac fish on a fly
 Jack wit his first fly caught fish

 Point of Rocks
 Bald eagle (see an average of 5 a week)
 Check out this car, looks like my first, an 93 honda accord
 First egret spotted this  year
 Russell and his first fly caught fish. He was stoked and his enthusiasm was energetic
 Abbi lands some nice bluegill

 Big bait ball on Burke lake
 1st bass caught on Burke for the season so far
 More bluegill

We also got 2 muskie out of Burke. The first was a 6" fingerling that threw the hook at the boat !
The second occured when a muskie was busting bait along the weeds. I had the client cast to it and it got the size 10 red copper john fly. We got the fish to the boat and it threw the hook. I had no way of getting it landed and I was distracted filming with my new HD Flip.

Thats if for the past week. We also had a fish break 20lb leader last night on the Potomac. What was it? We'll never know.


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